Wednesday 4 January 2012

Temasek Poly students get chance to train as pilots

By Amanda Tan, The Straits Times, 4 Jan 2012

STUDENTS studying for a diploma in aviation management and services at Temasek Polytechnic will soon have the chance to be trained for a private pilot licence as part of their three-year curriculum.

A memorandum of understanding between both parties was signed at the club yesterday.

This is the first arrangement of its kind for a diploma programme in Singapore. Selected students will take a six-month flying course leading to the private pilot licence, a basic certification required of all pilots here. Airline pilots are required to go further and attain a commercial pilot licence and, often, the airline transport pilot licence as well.

Under Temasek Polytechnic's programme, students will cover aviation theory and more than 40 hours of flight training in a simulator and in the skies.

They will also gain advanced knowledge in air navigation, flight planning and meteorological science, among other things.

The first batch of 30 students, selected after psychometric and medical checks, will start the training in April.

'This partnership will help meet the demand for more pilots in the next 20 years,' said course manager Paul Yap.

He added: 'The students will get an advantage over others should they decide to pursue a piloting career in the military or commercial airlines as they have already got a basic licence and clocked the training hours.'

Mr Yap estimates that the world is short of 20,000 to 25,000 pilots per year for the next 20 years. In Singapore, with the projected growth of Tiger Airways and Singapore Airlines' new budget carrier, Scoot, the projected demand is about 400 pilots annually over the next five years.

Third-year student John Paul Goh said he is looking forward to starting the training. 'I've been interested in planes since I was in Primary 1, when I saw them during National Day,' added the 18-year-old, who aspires to be an air force fighter pilot.

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